It is so interesting that a Google search does not yield a single saying that discourages caffeine. Have our lives really become dependant on coffee or tea? Can we not function without it anymore? I’ve heard a lot of people, especially the younger generation ranting about the number of coffees they have chugged down their throat and feeling very happy about it. Let me tell you something! It is nothing to be very proud of. Maybe, one might just need some help to overcome the addiction of caffeine. Not only does coffee have caffeine in it, but other hot drinks like tea, green tea etc too contain caffeine in them. Many of us forget that caffeine is a psychoactive substance. It is a type of drug that crosses blood-brain barrier to stimulate the central nervous system. People forget the fact it is a drug also and continue to use it in the normal course of life in high quantity. Steven E. Meredith, a research fellow at The Johns Hopkins School of University said, “Unlike most other psychoactive substances, caffeine use is socially acceptable, and the drug is widely used. In fact, caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive substance in the world. Moreover, the vast majority of caffeine consumers use the substance regularly without apparent harm. These factors likely contribute to the perspective that caffeine is a benign substance that everyone can use without suffering any negative consequences.” I do not agree with the last part that these substances are used regularly without having any apparent harm. Like any other drug or harmful substance, caffeine too has its own harmful effects and serious consequences.
There have been researches and experiments that have proved the dangerous side effects of this substance. Mayo Clinic has discovered that devouring more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day may result in insomnia, anxiety issues, nervousness, irritability, upset stomach, eve muscle tremors. Though effects of caffeine vary from person to person considering the different metabolism rates, and tolerance of substances, but it still effects negatively at its own pace. For instance, smokers metabolize caffeine twice as fast as non-smokers, or, individuals having anxiety disorders are more susceptible to effects of the substance. There are various kind of victims to caffeine. There are one set of people who only live on caffeine in its most common form, being coffee. When I use the word ‘only’, I mean it! This leads to a big downfall in their appetite and may also lead to being addicted to smoking. It is not a mandate but can be one of the consequences. There also exist a set of people, like the college crowd mostly during the exam time, who intake caffeine for a limited period of time but in its highest quantity. This is as harmful as having coffee or tea every day. Having it for a few days in large quantity and suddenly leaving it doesn’t make you go through its short term as well as long term side effects consequences. You can encounter insomnia, nervousness, and other ‘weird feelings’ that you term it as.
On a personal note, I too was addicted to caffeine. Actually, you can’t call it addiction but whenever, I used to drink coffee, it was always in a large number. It was my initial days of college, when everything was exciting. Being surrounded by people whose mornings started with coffee and ended classes with coffee, it made me curious enough to try too. It was during my exam time that I started consuming caffeine in a very large amount. I used to drink around 5 big cups of coffee every day that helped me stay awake and concentrate. The only two things that I needed at that time. Later on, I had disturbed sleep with nightmares and moreover became irritable in nature that my parents really got concerned. It got ot such a level that I had to consult a homeopathic doctor. The very first thing that the doctor asked me was about the consumption of coffee and bam! there it was. The root of the problem. I had to go into homeopathic medication for a good while. It affected me so much so that it gave me many other internal issues that are difficult to tackle.
Though intake of caffeine can have very minor positive effects, but seeing the larger picture, it is the negative effects and other consequences that overpower the entire situation. It is not the medical and technicality that may scare you but also the psycho-socio consequences that a coffee addict may face. It lowers one’s self-esteem and confidence, makes you nervous enough to speak in public. It can also lead to acting in the most unpredictable ways in public.
Consequently, I feel it is time to get rid of this drug and clean the society a bit. Be a bit empathic and help the one in need. All one needs is a little support and you’re good to go!